Everyone who works for us, or with us, has an important part to play in making Shell a safer place to work. We are aiming for more than a culture of compliance, one in which people feel listened to and cared for. Our aim is to have a more motivated, productive, healthier and safer workforce.
For example, at the Pernis refinery in the Netherlands, we have worked on creating a positive work culture, where ideas from workers are welcomed, rewarded and implemented when feasible.
We run an annual safety day that gives our employees and contractors the opportunity to learn how they can manage the safety hazards in their work and share ideas with each other.
Overall, in 2016, following steady and significant improvements in our safety performance over the past decade, the number of injuries per million working hours – the total recordable case frequency – has increased slightly compared to 2015. We achieved our lowest ever level of injuries that led to time off work in 2016, measured as lost time injury frequency.
Our fatal accident rate – the number of fatalities per 100 million working hours – decreased in 2016 to the lowest ever level, but we still need to do more in this area. Sadly, three people lost their lives while working for Shell in 2016.
A process safety incident is any leak or spill of hazardous material. Process safety management is about keeping our hazardous substances in the pipes, tanks and vessels so they do not cause any harm to people or the environment. It starts with designing and building projects and is implemented throughout the life cycle of these facilities to ensure they are operated safely, well-maintained and regularly inspected. With our technical and operational safety standards, we aim to avoid the release of hazardous material, and minimise the consequences if any releases do occur. If an incident occurs, we investigate and learn from it.
We make sure that we have the necessary resources to deal with spills, leaks, fires and explosions. Our emergency-response plans are routinely tested and improved after simulation exercises.
In line with industry standards, we measure and report according to the significance of the incidents, with Tier 1 as the most significant. In 2016, we achieved our lowest ever total for both Tier 1 and 2 operational process safety events. There were 39 Tier 1 events in 2016, compared to 51 in 2015 and 107 Tier 2 events in 2016, compared to 169 in 2015. This is a reduction of more than 30% compared to last year.
Process safety events related to sabotage and theft in Nigeria are recorded separately. There was an improvement during 2016 with fewer incidents: 17 Tier 1 and 0 Tier 2 events, compared to 28 Tier 1 and 17 Tier 2 in 2015.
In 2016, the four most significant operational incidents were:
- a fatality at our Fox Creek operations in Canada;
- a gas release at the Moerdijk chemical plant in the Netherlands;
- a gas release from the offshore wellhead pipeline in India; and
- a crude oil spill from a subsea flow line in the USA.
Moving large numbers of people, products and equipment by road, rail, sea and air brings safety risks with it. We work closely with specialist contractors and industry bodies to find ways of reducing these risks.
Traffic accidents claim around 1.25 million lives every year, according to the World Health Organisation. Shell is working to ensure our employees and professional drivers have the best safety skills possible and behave responsibly on the road. Our approach to road safety applies to all the countries where we operate.
Since the introduction of our first global driver safety programmes in 2008, there has been a significant decline in fatal road incidents across Shell. We sadly recorded one road fatality in 2016, when one of our contractors was involved in a vehicle roll-over at our QGC venture operation in Australia.
Outside our own operations, we also work to improve road safety through social investment in communities. Shell Malaysia, for example, has worked to improve road safety culture for nearly 60 years and its current campaign, the Shell Road Safety Movement, targets school children, college students and local communities.